1 The west terrace at Skylands is a perfect place to have a lunch in the shade, but still with a magnificent view of Seal Harbor. Here I am with Laurence Rockefeller and Sharkey underfoot, who is rather much a beggar dog.
2 My early guests also included Kathy Sloane and Wendy Gordon Rockefeller.
3 Francesca loves to sit on a chair near me at lunch and dinner - a charming habit. You've already seen where Sharkey prefers to sit. My Chow Chow, G.K. is becoming an extremely friendly dog and a bit of a beggar, as well.
4 The house tea is a brew of herbal and black tea with generous amounts of lemon.
5 I served an inviting lunch of fresh picked peekytoe crab salad on a bed of fresh garden lettuce with a lemony vinaigrette made with my own lemons.
6 On Friday, lunch was also served on the west terrace. The table and chairs were made by a local boat builder following my interpretation of a wonderful art art nouveau English design.
7 Lunch that day was also extremely delicious and somewhat in the style of the South of France - Tomatoes Provencal, steamed broccoli, sauteed peppers, and red rice from Camargue, in southern France, a gift from Calia Van Dyk, our TV manager who just returned from there.
8 The Soderholtz pots on the walls have grown very nicely this year. This is a cycad, or sego palm underplanted with baby tears.
9 Last year, I planted several fancy leaf begonias from Surry Gardens in Surry, Maine and they, too, have wintered over well. http://surrygardens.com/
10 The main course for Friday's lunch was mussels meuniere. The muscles were local from Great Gott Island and we enjoyed their plump, yellow flesh and buttery consistency. Chef Pierre Schaedelin cooked them in butter with wine, herbs, and zest of lemon. Utterly delicious and rich!
11 Dessert was buttermilk sorbet atop a pile of golden, red, and black raspberries from my garden in Bedford.
12 Peter Jones is the property manager at Skylands and the new captain of my Hinckley Picnic Boat. This was our first day out and we were testing it to see if it was safe and in fine working order. A gas gauge showed that we were full, however, we ran out of gas in the middle of Sommes Sound! A malfunction!
13 Here we are approaching the US Coast Guard Station in Southwest Harbor.
14 Right next door is Thurston's Lobster Pound, an old-time establishment where we often stop to eat lobster rolls or to pick up lobster or crab for dinner. http://thurstonslobster.com/
15 It was a beautiful day and sailboats were out in force. There were many races of different classes of boats going on all over the bay.
16 On Saturday, we went for lunch on Islesford Dock on Little Cranberry Island. Peter Jones's mother, Sue Hill, owns a little shop called Winter's Work, showcasing the works of Island and Maine artists and authors. Peter's sons - Zachery and Lucas, mother - Sue, and wife - Marla http://www.winterswork.com
17 The Picnic Boat has a hatch over the cabin and that is where Francesca and Sharkey like to enjoy cool breezes.
18 We had a large dinner party on Saturday night and I played Kevin by doing all of the arrangements for the house. Kevin was on a two-week hiatus in Italy at Forte dei Marmi, a sea town in northern Tuscany.
19 The table was set simply, but elegantly, using Mrs. Edsel Ford's linens and my Chicago-made monogrammed silver. Bud vases filled with Martagon lilies and maidenhair ferns graced the center of the table.
20 A closeup of a deep rose Martagon
21 And a pale mauve
22 In addition to blooming lilies, the garden offered up late-blooming delphiniums for my arranging. Delphiniums thrive in Maine with cool nights and warm days, reaching heights of seven to eight feet! I placed bud vases on this faux bois plant stand.
23 On a sofa table, I placed two vases filled with electric blue delphiniums.
24 And for a pier table, I filled a giant earthenware jug with more spikes of these magnificent flowers.
25 We served a delicious Sancerre rosé from Alsace and also caipirinhas, the national drink of Brazil, which everyone loved! It's made with lime juice, sugar, and cachaça, a liquor made from sugarcane juice.
26 I like to serve ice for drinks in a big bowl with a silver ladle.
27 Ultimately, the table was set for fifteen guests.
28 I chose Bar Harbor Wedgwood china, which depicts scenes from Mt. Desert Island. These dishes have become extremely rare and terribly expensive.
29 The Skylands terrace, which faces south, is a wonderful place to relax and talk over morning coffee or evening cocktails.
30 My friend and Bedford neighbor, Lisa Schwartz, sat in a Maine-made wing chair and looked refreshed after hiking and boating. Lisa is famous for her Rainbeau Ridge goat cheese. http://www.rainbeauridge.com/cms/
31 John Studzinski, a partner at Blackstone Group, sat in an opposing wing chair and obviously enjoyed the conversation.
32 Here I am with Sydie Lansing chatting about summer plans. Sydie is a designer, an art collector, and a philanthropist.
33 Mitch Rales, a director of Danaher Corporation and a renowned art collector sat with Jean Lipkin who, along with her husband, Ed, are friends and Seal Harbor neighbors.
34 John Studzinski and Emily Rales - They are both art collectors and had lots to talk about.
35 Lisa Schwartz shared her amazing cheeses with us. They were served with toast and were a big hit.
36 Here is Lisa with Ed Lipkin - real estate mogul and shopping center guru.
37 Dr. Michael Kalman, Phil Jacobs, and Dr. Gary Crooks of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center who visits the Lipkins frequently - Dr. Kalman is a famous dermatologist and former partner of Dr. Orentreich, who's been caring for my skin for thirty years.
38 The dining table in candlelight
39 Kitchen prep - Lots of fresh herbs were picked in the garden, washed, and bunched for easy use.
40 Ingredients for Thursday's dinner - Pierre made bucatini with fresh bread crumbs and bottarga, the roe sac of grey mullet that has been salted, dried, pressed, and dipped in beewax for preservation. The pasta was superb!
41 Saturday night's dinner - Fifteen soft-shell shedder lobsters - A glut of lobsters and an unseasonably early shedding season for the crustaceans has caused a problem for lobstermen, though it has been a boon for consumers.
42 Saturday night's dinner - Pierre made fettuccine with sugar snap peas, lobster, and oven-dried tomato strips.
43 It was extraordinary!
44 Saturday dessert - Bitter chocolate souffle, milk chocolate sorbet, and a cup of whipped cream
45 Another look at this fabulous creation
46 On Sunday, we basically ate leftovers, finishing Lisa's goat cheese.
47 But, what amazing leftovers! There was smoked salmon, cold sorrel soup, Maine tomatoes, cauliflower salad, more of the Camargue red rice with sugar snap peas, and cole slaw.
48 We sat down to lunch after hiking up Beehive, a trail that's designated as strenuous with steep grades and many steady climbs, overlooking beautiful Sand Beach.
49 The table was set with plain Skyland linens and ironstone plates.
50 Breakfast one morning - The dining table was set with pink and white china.
51 I had just made this wonderful apricot jam. Pierre made butter cutouts using the best butter I have recently tasted. It's Beurremont 83% butterfat, a gift from Xavier at Paris Gourmet in Carlstadt, New Jersey. http://www.parisgourmet.com
52 Perfectly cooked soft boiled eggs from my chickens were served with toast strips.